If you read my other blogs, you might have guessed that I’m a perfectionist. I love lists, schedules, and being on time for everything. I’m also not big on improvising, as in everything I do is planned out. If you put me in front of people without a script, I would overload and fail.
I never wanted my own business because I thought it would be stressful and that every aspect of a business should be specialized. After working in a hotel years ago, I know that every department exists for a reason. Because of this, I know it’s hard to juggle everything: finances, communications, customer service, designing projects, etc. So, how did someone like me decide to start my own business?
How much will this cost me?
This is the first question I asked myself. Since I was jobless and going to school, I couldn’t really afford to spend any money. When I first started, it cost me a font purchase and domain purchase, so $26.
It only cost me that much because my services came from my talent, I already had a web host from my portfolio site, I already owned the Adobe products, and I was already taking a course.
Everything else was designed by me, so that cost me nothing, except my time and my sleep. $26 was a good deal!
Make a decision, close my eyes, and jump
The only thing I had to do was make the decision. I knew that once I spent the money, there was no going back. Why? Because I am cheap and want to get the most for my money. For me, every penny is precious. It’s one of the most important lessons my family taught me. Also, I know there are people less fortunate than me so I shouldn’t be wasteful.
If you’re having issues deciding for yourself, read my previous blog post Start Your Own Business: There’s no such thing as being perfectly prepared.
Learn more about my competition
After I already made my decision, I had to do my research. This is the most important step for any business.
Every time I think of researching what the competition is doing, I am reminded of my college professor in the RTVF program. I don’t remember what class it was, it had to do with looking at the ratings and competition between different television networks and radio stations. This teacher had a background working in marketing or advertising for a television station. Every report we did we had to use the techniques from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War to analyze the strategies of different networks.
The reason I am mentioning Sun Tzu’s The Art of War is that it can be applied here. To win you have to know your competition and understand the strategies they are utilizing to succeed. Not only that, but you also have to look for their weaknesses. Knowing both their strengths and weaknesses can help you succeed in your own business.
If you want to buy The Art of War, there are free versions on Kindle. It’s also cheap on Amazon here (This is an affiliate link.).
Explore my talents
To create a business you have to have something that you love and that you’re good at. There are a lot of things that I love to do. I had to narrow it down because this is only the beginning for me and I can’t stretch myself too thin.
I have a background in videography and editing, but those were too timely, costly, and I wasn’t sure if I could do it as a job for the rest of my life. Some things are hobbies that might become enemies if you keep doing it for long. I didn’t know if I would come to hate doing it as a job.
Web design and graphic design are things I’ll never tire of. It’s always exciting to see what my ideas will create.
Create my business
It took me about 3 months to create my business. I went from a nameless, unspecified type of business, to a business with a logo, website, and blog. It wasn’t easy, but I enjoyed the whole process.
After making the decision to create my own business, executing a proper launch was a close second in level of difficulty. Creating everything was ‘easy’, but launching it was hard. I wanted everything to be perfect, but everything went wrong at the end. At that time, I just moved from San Diego to Houston, so unpacking was time-consuming. I got really sick but didn’t have health insurance between the transition.
When launch day hit, I was still sick and didn’t get the chance to do all the things I wanted to do. Should I launch or should I wait? I launched anyway. The website was up, and then I went back to sleep. That was my launch day. It was a bittersweet moment for me. I knew that I would keep hesitating, so I just launched it so that I wouldn’t back out.
Luckily, nothing is permanent. Businesses can evolve. Right now I am re-designing my site to fit the brand better. By the time this blog post is up, it should be complete.
Have you experienced things going wrong in your life? Are you having trouble taking the leap? Let me know in the comments below.
-Paigon | Natasha Lane Design Co.